Constant Transmission Fluid Drip

This is an 89 Chevy Caprice station wagon with the 307 engine (olds engine used in chevy). It has the 3 speed automatic trans with overdrive. (some refer to it as a 4 speed, I guess).
It is always dripping transmission fluid. Not just when I drive it, but even when its parked. It's not pouring out, just a constant drip maybe one drop per hour (since I was just working on the exhaust system, I got to watch the drops.
It is NOT the pan gasket. I already changed that thinking that was the culprit. Its also NOT dripping from the cooler lines, nor around the dipstick tube. The drip is coming out from the plastic cover that is beneath the torque converter. I have not yet pulled that cover off. I thought I'd ask about this first and see what others say about it.
I talked to a mechanic at a local Chevy dealer. Of course he told me to bring it in, and would not tell me much more, except to say that the front seal on the trans (where the shaft enters it), is probably leaking. OK, I know about front and rear seals. I have never changed a front one, but have done a few rear ones on other cars. While I am no mechanic, I do know more than the average guy about cars. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe the fluid level is high enough inside the trans to keep dripping when the car is parked. Yet it continues to drip even if the car sits for several weeks and is not used (this is a spare car only). So, how can it keep dripping when the car is not used?
Assuming I am correct about this, there must be some other place thats leaking, possibly the torque converter itself. But what or where?????
Can anyone please advice me what to look for..... Has anyone had this same problem?
Sorry, I do not know the "name" of the transmission, but I did look it up once and I believe there was only one type of overdrive used in GM in the 80's.
I'd greatly appreciate any help. It only costs me a quart of ATF every 2 to 3 weeks, but it's annoying and makes a big mess on the driveway. I'm hoping it's just something simple, but automatic transmissions are one of the things I know the least about on a car.
Thanks
Mark
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On Sat, 22 Jul 2006 04:18:34 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Pull that cover off and see if the drip line is coming from the seal area (straight down from the center). That would indicate the front seal. If the oil is all over the place, wash it out with Brake Clean or other spray solvent, let it dry out and start it up for a few mins. Check the drip line again. Don't be dumb enuff to stick your head up there with the engine running. The ring gear will plow a neat groove in your forehead.
Enjoy Pete
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snipped-for-privacy@mts.net wrote:

I agree. He has to get under there and look with the surface cleaned first. The source should be evident. He may find that it is migrating from somewhere else. There is an O-ring under the speedo gear input too that can leak like crazy and is simple to fix. A leak of that magnatude should be obvoius.
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On Sat, 22 Jul 2006 10:35:53 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@mts.net wrote:

Thanks
I'll do as you say and also check the spedo cable. I'll post a follup when I look in there. No, I wont stick ANY body parts in there when the engine is running. Not even my best tool :)
PS. Is there not a drain plug to drain the converter? I was wondering if that might be loose or lacking some sort of seal. I guess I'll see when I open it., but was wondering if there is a drain plug. I know some cars have em, others dont.
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

No drain on a converter. Probably the front seal on the trans. When its running the oil gets sprayed all around the bellhousing then it runs down and drips out the drain hole in the cover. If it has been doing it a while the cover probably has dirt/crud in it that is probably absorbing the oil as well as blocking off the drain hole some. Before you pull the cover stick a nail or screwdriver in the drain hole and see if it's clear. If it's partially plugged there could be a pool of oil waiting to dump on you when you pull the bolts.
-
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Let's see, you are spilling 5 gallons of oil on the road every year for the past 10 years. At 2.50 a quart you've dumped $500 worth of oil. How much would it cost to have serviced? Would you take that 5 gallons of oil a year and just dump it in your backyard?
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